Ranger Stories: Serving one of the world’s most prestigious shooting grounds – E.J. Churchill
Hardest working. Smoothest riding. The Polaris Ranger is one of the bestselling utility side-by-sides across the globe, and has earned its reputation as the ultimate utility vehicle with over one million vehicles built and counting. To showcase the versatility of the Ranger, Polaris has embarked on a journey across Europe, Middle East and Africa to discover and film how customers are using the Polaris Ranger in their day-to-day lives. The initiative, called Ranger Stories, is set to demonstrate the many ways in which the RANGER line-up is servicing customer lives worldwide.
Episode 9 – E.J. Churchill Shooting Ground, West Wycombe Estate, UK
Built upon a century of heritage and excellence, E.J. Churchill is one of the finest gunmakers in the world. Today, E.J. Churchill is the largest British-owned gunmaker renowned for its bespoke guns that combine technical innovation with the reliability, quality and elegance of traditional craftsmanship.
The award-winning E.J. Churchills Shooting Ground is known as the most prestigious clay pigeon shooting ground in England, and the largest, spanning over 35-acres. Located just outside of London, E.J. Churchill is based on the wider West Wycombe Estate; a 5,000-acre estate that is home to the Dashwood family and has been since 1698. Catering for all client sporting needs, from the Young Guns Academy to in-field instruction and lessons, E.J. Churchill needed a fleet of versatile vehicles that could be used across the grounds to facilitate the general day-to-day management and keep everything running smoothly.
Over ten years ago, a good friend of Rob Fenwick, Managing Director of E.J. Churchill Group Ltd, recommended the Polaris Ranger and sent a unit to the grounds to be tested. That vehicle was purchased one week later, and from there grew the partnership between Polaris and E.J. Churchill, who have now had a number of Polaris Rangers in operation including the Ranger XP 1000 and Crew models, Ranger Diesel and more recently, the Ranger EV.
Rob Fenwick said, “It’s a partnership that’s grown organically and, since the day we bought our very first Polaris Ranger, we’ve exclusively run and bought Polaris machines ever since. Even better than this, we have recommended Polaris to hundreds of other clients, all of which I know are delighted with their choice.”
For E.J. Churchill, it comes down to reliability. Not only do they need a vehicle that can serve the groundskeeper day in, day out, to service, move and stock the circa 300 promatic traps laid out across the grounds, but also for escorting VIP guests around in the Ranger Crew model, and event support. Hosting the World Championships for the sixth time this year, E.J. Churchill needs to be certain their machinery isn’t going to let them down.
“Who knows what the future holds,” Rob continued. “But one thing is for sure, wherever we go, the Polaris Ranger is coming with us.”
Find out more about E.J. Churchill on their website: https://www.ejchurchill.com/
Dating back all the way to 1891, E.J. Churchill is the largest British-owned gun maker in the UK.
In 1988, we set up here E.J. Churchills Shooting Ground, which is now an amazing facility and is deemed to be one of the finest of its kind in the world.
The business has won many worldwide accolades, awards, and to be honest, has set new standards in the shooting industry.
We’ve hosted five World Championships to date and in 2019, it was made the Elite training centre for UK athletes for British Shooting. This is the only shooting ground in the UK to get this accolade.
On top of this, we host around 300 events each year, which gets a footfall of around 50,000 visitors.
We’ve had a relationship with Polaris for over 10 years now; it’s a partnership that’s grown organically and, since the day we bought our very first Polaris Ranger, we now exclusively run and have bought only Polaris machines ever since. It’s been a fantastic relationship.
We’ve had numerous Polaris Rangers in operation across the whole of the shooting ground here on the estate. This includes the Ranger Diesel, Ranger XP 1000 and the various crew models. More recently, we’ve gone to the Ranger EV as well.
We use the Rangers to keep everything running smoothly and on time from a grounds perspective. its versatility has made it an absolute vital piece of machinery that we use and to be honest, we couldn’t cope without it
In our opinion, they just do about every job we need with ease, and just in such a simple way. They get some serious hammer by the team and they still keep going.
When the World Championships are here, you can’t have your kit failing or letting us down. it’s just vital that we get that reliability from the machines we’re using.
We mainly use the 2-seater Ranger models as ground vehicles throughout the estate, be it towing trailers, moving clay traps around, transporting kit, getting to places quickly to solve technical problems, as well as getting into difficult areas to fill up and service these traps.
Our groundskeepers use them day-in and day-out. They are a vital piece of their equipment.
The crew models are mainly for taking VIPs and disabled athletes around the shooting ground but also across the wider West Wycombe estate – it’s a stunning place; 5,000 acres in size, it has all kinds of terrain, serious hills in the Chilterns, chalk, flint, everything.
We have about 300 promatic clay traps laid out across the shooting ground here, and also in North Yorkshire at our other place and we throw roughly about about 8 million clays a year so as you can imagine, that’s a lot of travelling, servicing, moving and general maintenance to keep this place going.
It’s not just here in West Wycombe where we utilise the Rangers – we’re rolling out the new Polaris fleet up at the new Swinton estate in North Yorkshire as well.
One of the first things we did was buy a Ranger for the new ground staff up there, and soon there will be a crew model arriving for VIPs and to chauffeur people from the hotel at Swinton all the way to the shooting ground.
This is just the first expansion for us, and who knows what the future holds but one thing is for sure, wherever we go, the Polaris Ranger is certainly going to be coming with us!